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Health and Safety Services

DISPLAY SCREEN EQUIPMENT (DSE) Safety Policy on Computer Workstations

1. General Statement
1.1  In compliance with the DSE Regulations (updated 2002), all reasonably practicable steps will be taken to secure the health and safety of employees who work with DSE.

1.2 All managers are responsible for ensuring the implementation of this policy within their areas.

2. Arrangements for Securing the Health and Safety of Workers.
2.1  All employees who use DSE will be given information and training, including guidance on 'on-line marking' to enable them to work without risk to health.  Suitable guidance and information is available on line at:  Suitable training is available on line at: 

This information and training is notified to all new staff in their safety induction packs and annually to all existing staff via the local area safety inspection report where it is a standing item of advice to staff.

2.2 Birkbeck through its managers will:

(i) Ensure that DSE assessors are appointed and trained in each school/department/area.

(ii) Via their DSE assessors, require all new staff - including temporary staff - to carry out a DSE self-assessment of their workstation within the first week at work and submit this to their line manager/DSE assessor.  A self assessment form can be found here:

(iii) Have a DSE assessor review each DSE self-assessment form within one month of the employee start date and then take the necessary measures to remedy any risks identified as a result of the assessment.

(iv)Have a DSE assessor refer any report of ill health or pain or discomfort suspected of being caused by DSE to the College Safety Officer for further investigation as soon as practicable.

(v) Where an employee raises a matter related to health and safety in the use of DSE, have the the local DSE assessor arrange for steps 3-5 above to be carried out. 

2.3  The College Health and Safety Officer will arrange for eyesight tests for employees on their request via Birkbeck's nominated optometrist and arrange for the free supply of any corrective appliances (glasses) where required specifically for working with DSE.  Note that Birkbeck will contribute only the cost of the lowest priced standard frame and lenses supplied by Birkbeck's nominated optometrist.  Where an employee obtains a test or glasses independently, even if the test is specifically related to display screen use, Birkbeck shall not be responsible for the costs incurred if not agreed in advance and shown to be necessary e.g. production of a letter from a hospital eye specialist.

2.4 All employees including temporary staff must implement the DSE guidance issued to them.

Agreed by College Safety Committee - November 2009. Revised April 2012.

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Health & Safety Services, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. Tel: 020 7631 6218, email: